Naked in His Arms [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Sandra Marton
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Alexander Knight: An ex-Special Forces agent called to undertake one final dangerous mission... Cara Prescott: The beautiful, spirited young woman Alex has been hired to protect. Alex's only choice is to kidnap her and hide her on his private exotic island, where holding her captive leads to hot and steamy days, and intense, passionate nights. But can Alex keep Cara from harm, when he has no idea how dangerous the truth really is?
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Presents
Fictionwise Release Date: July 2006
30 Reader Ratings:
NOBODY had ever asked Alexander Knight if a man's belly could really knot with anxiety but if someone had, he'd have laughed and said bellies couldn't knot any more than pigs could fly.
Besides, why ask him?
Anxiety wasn't a word in his vocabulary.
He knew what it meant to feel his nerves tense, his blood pound. Taut anticipation, after all, had been part of his life for a long time. You couldn't put in years in Special Forces and then in covert ops without experiencing moments of stress, but that wasn't the same thing.
Why would a man be anxious when he'd trained himself to face danger?
Alex pulled his BMW into a parking slot behind the building he hadn't seen in three years. Hadn't seen, hadn't thought of….
Hell, that was a lie. There'd been too many dreams where he'd awakened, heart pounding, sheets tangled and sweaty.
The first thing he and his brothers had agreed on, even before they'd come up with the idea of starting a company called Risk Management Specialists, was that there wasn't a way in hell they'd ever walk through these smoked-glass doors again.
"Not me," Matt had said grimly.
"Or me," Cam had added.
And Alex had said, Damned right. It would be a hot day in January before he so much as drove by the freaking place.
His jaw tightened.
So much for promises. It was November in D.C., the weather gray and cold, and he was going through those damned doors, walking across the tiled floor to the security desk.
The hell of it was, it all felt as familiar as if he'd never left. He even found himself reaching into his pocket for his ID card but, of course, there was no card in his pocket, there was only the letter that had brought him here today.
He gave his name to the guard, who checked it first against a list on his clipboard, then on his computer monitor.
"Move forward, please, Mr. Knight."
Alex stepped into the seemingly benign embrace of the security gate.
Checkpoint one, he thought, as the electronic snoops did a preliminary scan. This was his last chance to turn and walk straight out the doors.
A second guard handed him a visitor's ID badge.
"Elevators are straight ahead, sir."
He knew where the damned elevators where. Knew, after he stepped inside and pressed the button, that it would take two seconds for the doors to slide shut, seven for the ride up to the sixteenth floor. Knew he'd step out into what looked like a corridor in any office building—except that the luminescent ceiling was filled with lasers and God only knew what else, all checking him from head to toe, and that the plain black door marked Authorized Entry Only would open after he touched his thumb to a keypad and looked straight ahead so that another laser could scan his retina and verify that he really was Alexander Knight, spook.
Ex-spook, Alex reminded himself. Still, he pressed his thumb to the pad, just to see what would happen. To his surprise, it activated the retinal scan and a couple of seconds later, the black door swung open exactly as it had years ago.
Nothing had changed, not even the woman wearing a dark gray suit seated behind the long desk facing the door. She rose to her feet as she had a hundred times in the past.
"The director's expecting you, Mr. Knight."
No "Hello." No "How have you been?" Just the same brusque greeting she'd always offered when he'd had to stop here between assignments.
Alex followed her down a long hall to another closed door. This one, however, opened at the turn of a knob, revealing a large office with bulletproof glass windows overlooking the Beltway that circled Washington.
The man at the cherrywood desk looked up, smiled and rose from his chair. He was the only change in this place. The old director who Alex had worked for was gone. His assistant had replaced him, his name was Shaw, and Alex had never liked him.
"Alex," Shaw said. "It's good to see you again."
"It's good to see you, too," Alex replied.
It was a lie, but lies were the lifeblood of the Agency.
"Sit down, please. Make yourself comfortable. Have you had breakfast? Would you like some coffee or tea?"
"Nothing, thank you."
The director sat back in his leather swivel chair and folded his hands over his slight paunch.
"Well, Alex. I hear you're doing quite well."
"That company of yours—Risk Management Specialists, is that the name? I hear excellent things about the work you and your brothers do." The director gave a just-between-us-boys chuckle. "Quite a compliment to us, I think. It's nice to know the techniques you learned here haven't gone to waste."
Alex's smile was tight. "Nothing we learned here has gone to waste. We'll always remember all of it."
"Will you?" the director said, and suddenly the phony smile was gone. He sat forward, folded his hands on his desk, his blue eyes boring into Alex's. "I hope so. I hope you remember the pledge you took when you joined the Agency. To honor, defend and serve your nation."
"To honor and defend," Alex said coldly. To hell with phony pleasantries. It was time to get down to basics. "Yes. I remember. Perhaps you remember that the Agency's interpretation of that pledge was the primary reason my brothers and I resigned."
Copyright © 2006 by Sandra Myles.